Sept. 08, 2020 | Andrea Cox
Décor disasters: common design mistakes and how to fix them
How many of us have started a home redecorating project only to stop midway, frustrated because we just can't seem to recreate that magazine-worthy look? Well fret not, as we've identified some common design mistakes and asked local designers for their surefire solutions to get back on track.
The Mistake: Hanging Art Improperly
Infusing a space with splashes of art can bring design to a new level. After all, who doesn't love colour, texture and gallery-inspired spaces? But hanging art correctly is an art of its own – if done improperly, it can throw a balanced room into visual chaos.
"One of the most common errors when placing art is hanging it too high," said Alykhan Velji, principal designer at Alykhan Velji Designs in Calgary.
The Fix: Keep it Relatable
When hanging art, a few simple rules will have those feature walls looking designer curated.
"If the art is above a sofa or piece of furniture, then the common rule is to hang it eight inches above the piece," said Velji. "If the art is not relating to anything, then hang it so that the centre of the art piece is at eye level or just above."
The Mistake: Not Considering Scale and Proportion
Scale and proportion are key elements when creating a harmonious space. Unfortunately, people often purchase furnishings simply because they love the furniture, without thinking about how it will fit into their space.
"When you walk into a space, you know it has been well designed when the scale and proportions of the pieces of furniture and the architecture have been thought out," said Velji.
The Fix: Measure
When grouping furniture, the pieces need to work cohesively in the space.
"Measuring is key before buying any furniture to ensure you are getting items that fit and work within the parameters of the room," said Velji.
The Mistake: Botching Modernism
Attaching labels to design categories can lead to incongruous design, especially if one doesn't have the expertise to achieve a certain look. Chloe Leung, showhome coordinator with builder and developer Brookfield Residential, says this is especially true when it comes to contemporary design.
"Many people think that modern design is clean lines, lots of leather, square furniture, and black and white, but that often ends up looking more industrial or farmhouse," she said.
The Fix: Mix It Up
Curating modernism is a process – one that involves pairing colours, shapes and textures with intent.
"In the great room, mix leather finishes with a fabric sofa or chairs and add a round coffee table to make more of an organic space," said Leung.
When it comes to the heart of the home – the kitchen – celebrate the unusual by ditching the subway tile and extending the granite or quartz countertop up the wall.
The Mistake: Wrong Rug Size
We've all seen it: a room filled with beautiful furnishings, but grounded by an area rug that's the wrong size. Whether the rug is too tiny, looking like a lost puppy, or too large, overpowering the nuances of the layout and furnishings, it's not a good aesthetic.
The Fix: Correct Positioning
To create more space and balance, position the rug just under the front legs of the sofa or chairs. Also, don't be afraid to think outside of the box.
"Consider a cowhide rug and place only the coffee table on top," said Leung.
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